Sunday, July 18, 2004

Day 1 in Seattle

We've finally arrived in the US of A.  After a long flight in which Pottsy got me cut off from the Bloody Mary's on the plane trip over and at least an hour spend getting ourselves organized at the airport, we finally settled down for a good night's sleep.
Today, we had our first game as the Aussie Dingoes.  It was against the a Seattle team that was still just forming and wasn't planned as part of the pre tour, but they should be at least as good as the punching bags back home and most of the blokes are keen to get their legs moving and play some ultimate. 
Firstly, I should tell you a little bit about my morning.  A bunch of us are staying at Jonny G's place and I was a bit nervous as the uniforms are due to arrive this morning at Britta's house.  Luckily, they did arrive and Camby, Anna and I made the short trip to her place to get them, however the box did not contain the hoodies which I am yet to find out why?
The uniforms look great and many of the players made an effort to thank Camby and I for our troubles during the day, which is always appreciated.  The next step was the compulsory trip to Nike Town to try on some cleats.  I was bitterly disappointed we didn't get a chance to do it last night when we arrived!  Even though there are plenty of options to but them on-line, we were lucky enough to find some Mecurial Vapour's on sale for $59.99 US.  Chris, Camby and I snapped them up in a hurry and I was very jealous when Pottsy purchased a pair of the new Speed TD Vapour's which are really hot (Matty also got a pair later that day).
We went straight to the fields from Nike Town and most of the boys were already there warming up.  The weather is beautiful with a stiff yet consistent breeze and we are missing Lachie and Mike who don't arrive until later today.  The guys look a bit nervous yet very enthusiastic to prove themselves to the opposition and fellow team members.
We decide to play two games to 11 and start on D.  Wavy reminded me that he was on the starting D team, but I quickly reminded him that we also lost the point (although to be fair Wavy's player didn't score the point).    The consistent factor in the first half was their ability to huck it long and mainly off the forehand.  They did it well too, although our D was lacking in most occasions.  Not sure what to put it down to . . . . . getting used to playing against opposition we don't know, tried and lethargic D following a long flight, great offense and great puts, but one thing is for sure, it certainly kept them in the game. 
happening said that, our offence was very efficient and we managed to score from most of our opportunities.   Our D did mange to get a number of turns but didn't always capitalize on their opportunities with us probably lacking a few handlers on a turn.  We went on to win the first game 11-7 and could have one by more with harder D and greater efficiency.
On a person Note, I must say that after spending many months scrimmaging against our own teammates who all know the plays and your own strengths and weaknesses, it was incredibly refreshing to play opposition that didn't know you from a bar of soap.  It proved something else to me, I mustn't look like much of an ultimate player as they poached on me quite a bit and I was able to contribute as a deep option for most of the first game. 
In between games, I noticed our team loves to talk.  At least 8-10 different individuals thought they should comment on the game and pass on their knowledge.  It may sound a bit harsh, but I think a few of the players need to concentrate a little more on their own game and let the leadership do the talking during game time. 
The second game followed a similar script, only this time our D adjusted a bit more to their long game with a backhand force (most of their hucks in the first game were forehand) but our O wasn't quite as good.  We had one tradgic point with about 4 turnovers each and there was a bit of yelling and frech to be heard as a result, with Pottsy, Sacha and Wavy all getting fired.  I am sure we will get better at it, but I can't help but wonder what will happen at Worlds if this is how we react at this stage of our preparation.  In any case we closed out the game 11-8 and remain undefeated on tour . . . . . . ohhh, how I wish I can type those words on the 8th of August!
We had burger afterwards like true yanks and then we went over to Britta's for a swim.  At this point I should say that Britta's place is amazing.  Britta and her husband Kevin are quite wealthy, but you could never tell by there welcoming and warm personalities.   The back of their house (or should I say mansion) runs down a hill that leads straight into Lake Washington.    Apart from their yacht, jetski and powerboat, they have two trampolines floating on pontoons just of the jetty.  Everyone had a ball diving for discs off the tramps and it was a very memorable afternoon.
In summary, it was a great first day.  Everyone is a bit buggered but we couldn't have asked for much more.  This team is really a great bunch of guys and I feel we are going to have a fantastic and successful time on tour, but tomorrow is the real challenge.  We play Sockeye, Axe and Furious George and those game will really separate the men from the boys.  Personally, if we can win 2 out of the 3 tomorrow I think we will really be on track.  I guess we'll see how we go tomorrow?

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